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Destito delivers regional State of the State address in Utica

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Commissioner of General Services RoAnn Destito was in Utica on Friday, highlighting Governor Cuomo's State of the State address and how the Mohawk Valley plays into it.

She says that even though the Mohawk Valley wasn't specifically mentioned in Governor Cuomo's State of the State address, Destito says his speech wasn't about regions, but about bringing all of New York back.

Through rebuilding state infrastructure and focusing on tourism, Destito says all regions can benefit with increased revenue and jobs. She also reminded everyone of the governor's announcement on nano-technology investment at SUNYIT, and the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Regional Council's success as major commitments the governor has.

"He didn't talk about that in the state of the state, but he's been talking about it all along," says Destito. "The State of the State is just a snapshot of the issues."

Destito says Governor Cuomo has a vision of bringing people back to New York by building on its tourism strengths, specifically in building what will be the nation's largest convention center at Aqueduct Race Track, what will be a $4 billion private investment.

"Conventions are the best money that you can get into town, because it's money that comes, you don't have to pay interest on it and stuff like that," says retired Utica firefighter Norris Ellinwood.

Ellinwood says the governor's address and Destito's presentation shows progressive ideas, and that is what makes regions grow.

"I'm thinking more on a statewide basis," Ellinwood said. "If the state gains, we all gain by that."

Many people are also still wondering about state mandate relief, which the governor didn't mention in his state of the state address. Destito says Cuomo has a mandate relief commission that will soon go out and have public hearings to discuss what the mandates are and what needs to be changed. Then, she says, the governor will bring recommendations and a bill back to the legislature and ask for an up or down vote on the mandate relief package.

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